5 Common Myths About Breast Cancer
This disease has hit home for so many of us. At Tennessee Fitness Spa, we support the many people fighting breast cancer, those that have survived and those that have lost their battles. We hold them dearly in our hearts and thoughts. Below you will find 5 common myths of breast cancer debunked.
MYTH: Men do not get breast cancer; it affects only women.
Although the percentage is small, men can get breast cancer. Men tend to have a higher mortality rate than women and this is mostly because men are less likely to assume a lump would be cancerous. In men, breast cancer is usually detected by a hard lump beneath the nipple. Men should also conduct self-examinations periodically.1
MYTH: Finding a lump in your breast means you have breast cancer.
Turns out, only a small number of breast lumps are cancerous. However, don’t let that undermine the importance of seeing a physician when you’ve noticed a persistent lump or change in your breast tissue.2
MYTH: Antiperspirants and deodorants cause breast cancer.
One of the reasons this myth is believed to be true is based on the fact that “most breast cancers develop in the upper outer area of the breast that’s closest to the lymph nodes exposed to antiperspirants.”3 However, there is no evidence connecting the use of antiperspirants and deodorants to breast cancer. “Still, some studies have found that women who use aluminum products under their arms are more likely to have higher concentrations of aluminum in breast tissue.” 4
MYTH: If I don’t have a family history of breast cancer, I won’t get it.
Only about 5-10% of breast cancers are hereditary. Most people get breast cancer from other factors such as their environment and lifestyle. 5
MYTH: Annual mammograms guarantee that breast cancer will be found.
Although mammography is very good at detecting breast cancer, it can produce false-negative results. “It’s estimated that mammograms miss about 20% of breast cancers at the time of screening… Mammography does catch most breast cancers, though, and that’s why regular screenings are essential.”6 However, breast cancer could grow quickly within the year or so that you have received a true negative result. Self-examination is by far the best way to discover any new changes to your breasts.
1 NationalBreastCancerFoundation.org. National Breast Cancer Foundation, INC. https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-myths/men-do-not-get-breast-cancer-it-affects-women-only/
2 NationalBreastCancerFoundation.org. National Breast Cancer Foundation, INC. https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-myths/men-do-not-get-breast-cancer-it-affects-women-only/
3 Breastcancer.org. Are Antiperspirants Safe? 12/5/2013. https://community.breastcancer.org/livegreen/are-antiperspirants-safe/
4 Breastcancer.org. Breast Cancer Myths vs. Facts. Modified 10/9/2019. https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/myths-facts
5 Breastcancer.org. Breast Cancer Myths vs. Facts. Modified 10/9/2019. https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/myths-facts
6 Breastcancer.org. Breast Cancer Myths vs. Facts. Modified 10/9/2019. https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/myths-facts